A girl who halfheartedly tries to be part of the "in crowd" of her school meets a rebel who teaches her a more devious way to play social politics: by killing the popular kids.
RELEASED IN 1989 and directed by Michael Lehmann, “Heathers” stars Winona Ryder as Veronica, a high school student in Ohio who has sold herself out to join the popular clique of three girls, all coincidently named Heather (Kim Walker, Lisanne Falk & Shannen Doherty). The more she spends time with them, however, the more she discovers she can’t stand them. Enter mysterious new kid, JD (Christian Slater), who has a macabre solution to Veronica’s conundrum. This is an oddball teen movie that tries to be edgy and amusing with its black humor and overt cussing. Future movies were influenced by it, like “Jawbreaker” (1999) and maybe even “Mean Girls” (2004). The commentary on peer pressure, teen suicide and the maiming destructiveness of cliques is potent. Teens can be misled by the “popular” students, yes, but they can also be misled by the outcasts. Slater stands out as a sorta dark Fonz of the late 80s, easily one of his best roles ever. Ryder is surprisingly good as the protagonist. I say “surprisingly” because I was never big on her (although I didn’t dislike her either). The first act is quite good, but the story gets humdrum in the middle; thankfully, the last 20 minutes perk up. The late 80’s ambiance is to die for. I’m not going to give it away, but the original ending was way more morbid. They had an alternative ending that they didn’t go with either. Apparently the studio pressured the writer/director to go with the theatrical ending, which I approve. It’s a story of redemption. Being misled by corrupt people for a season doesn’t define a person forever. THE MOVIE RUNS 1 hours & 43 minutes and was shot in Los Angeles (the high school) and surrounding area (Santa Monica, Tujunga and Pasadena). WRITER: Daniel Waters. GRADE: B-/C+
This movie is a high school satire done absolutely amazingly. It's everything current high school dramas wish they were. It's dark, funny, but does not lose any of its meaning to stupid jokes. It perfectly shows the hell that is high school (and society as a whole). Just like in high school, there are Marthas and Heathers everywhere in life. J.D. is a great villain, because even though from his very introduction, we know he's a messed up person who does bad things, yet you start to empathize with him just like Veronica. It shows that, as a society, we go to great lengths to defend white men and their actions. Heathers is furthermore also obviously a critique on the social hierarchies that exist in the world. It shows this on a smaller scale, high school. As J.D. nicely sums up towards the end of the movie: ".. because high school IS society". The Heathers rule the school and this movie really shows as to why that is. It's a system, that puts certain people at the top, like Heathers, and other _Martha's_ at the bottom. Murdering Heather Chandler might seem like a way to disrupt this hierarchy, and restore society to a pure form, but that is not the case. Heather Chandler does not equal her power, that's just a role she filled in the bigger system around them. Her being gone doesn't remove that role, it just passes it on to the next best fit. In this movie, colors play a significant role. Heather Chandler being red represents anger and her dominance. Heather McNamara being yellow represents her kind soul, but also her weakness. Heather Duke's green represents her jealousy of Chandler. Veronica's signature color is blue which represents intelligence, but after having murdered Heather Chandler she wears a purple outfit. As you may know, blue and red make purple. I see this as Heather Chandlers 'evilness' affecting Veronica as well. Veronica might think she's rid the world of evil, yet she's simply become evil herself.